Graduation rates slipped last year in about half of central Ohio’s 49 school districts, but Groveport Madison Local Schools made a gain for 2006-07, improving its rate 4.8 points to 90.5 percent.
For the previous two years, Groveport Madison’s graduation rate was 88 percent for the class of 2005 and 86 percent for the class of 2006. To meet the state’s graduation standard, a school district has to have 90 percent of the seniors graduating.
Ohio’s graduation rates are part of the state school report cards released in August, but those rates lag one year behind because summer graduates are still being counted.
Groveport Madison has taken several steps to improve its graduation rate:
•Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) learning packets, which include an OGT practice test and answer key, were given to high school students to take home for independent practice over the summer.
•OGT summer school was offered last summer and will be offered again this summer. Of the students who participated in the 2007 summer tutoring: grade 10 – six of of nine passed the test;grade 11 – six out of 11 passed the test; and grade 12 11 out of 17 passed the test.
We had a total of nine more graduates as a result of our summer tutoring program. Summer school will be offered again this year at Groveport Madison High School from June 10-13 from 8 a.m. to noon. OGT Testing will be June 16-20.
We are hoping parents will encourage their children to participate in this valuable tutoring program this summer. There is no charge for the tutoring.
Throughout the school year, teachers have worked together to complete academic content standard maps, which are on our school web site at www.gocruisers.org. Teachers have worked together this school year to examine student data on assessments in order to design interventions to help students who still need help and also teachers share teaching strategies that help students be successful in learning.
For the October 2007 OGT testing period the high school:
•Social studies department split the list of students who were scheduled to take the test and contacted each student to encourage them to come to school and do their best on the social studies OGT Test. Each teacher developed their own incentives for their students.
•English department ran a voluntary after school tutoring program for students who needed to pass reading and writing. Students were given practice questions and test-taking tips. Also, the English Department hosted a "Is the OGT Ready for Me?" blitz. Students were given modified sample tests in reading and writing, and an analysis of test answers were discussed. Gift bags were given to all the students who came and took the OGTs for reading and writing.
•Science department offered semester exam exemptions for students who came and passed the Science OGT Test. Extra help was also offered to students.
•Math department used an OGT math question each day in class for students to complete and discuss. Semester exam exemptions were offered to students who came and passed the math OGT Test.
•For the March OGT testing period, tutoring was again provided for students who needed help.
•During the OGT testing, raffle prizes were awarded to encourage students to come to school and do their best work.
•The high school principal meets on a regular basis with each class quarterly, in his "State of the Cruisers" talks to encourage students to always do their best in academics and in discipline.
We will offer a credit recovery program this summer for high school students interested in making up credits. OGT preparation will also be offered to students who need more practice for the OGT tests in October. This would be for students who are unable to attend the summer OGT tutoring and/or who do attend and still need more help on the OGTs.
Educate, motivate and graduate. We want all our students to graduate!
Susan Briggs is director of school improvement for Groveport Madison Local Schools.